Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Minnesota Attorney General Sues for Lost Laptop

The consulting firm that lost a laptop computer with medical data on 23,500 Minnesotans last summer has been sued by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who says it violated health privacy laws and state consumer protections.

Swanson said Accretive Health Inc., hired by two Twin Cities hospitals, was compiling individual medical checklists that included a "frailty'' evaluation, a "complexity" score of patients' physical condition and a prediction of whether a person would be hospitalized

The lawsuit stems from an investigation into an unencrypted laptop that was stolen July 25 in Minneapolis from the parked rental car of an Accretive employee.

The computer contained sensitive information on 23,500 Minnesota patients of two Minnesota hospital systems, Fairview Health Services and North Memorial Health Care. Both organizations had contracts with Accretive to help cut costs and boost revenues. Fairview's contract is even deeper, giving Accretive a management role in Fairview's "total cost of care.

MIAOULIS NOTE: This may be a trend in the future.  Do due deligence when sharing your patient information with business associates.

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